Well friends, it was a crazy election season. No matter your political leanings, I think you can agree with me on that statement. It has been insane. There has been mudslinging, name calling, and just a whole lot of junk. It's been hard to weed through and hard to know where to stand and what to say.
I know that a few weeks ago, I wrote about how I wasn't going to vote. That's how discouraged I was, friends. When I looked at the state of our nation, I just figured that there was no other option but to abstain. I didn't know what else to do except stay home from the polls on November 8 and pray. To just fervently pray seemed like the only action step.
But thanks to you, my sweet friends and community whom I love so much, I realized that staying home just wasn't an option. There was a lot more at stake than the presidency on Tuesday, and it just didn't seem right to talk about being the change in my community without taking the time to educate myself on local issues. So I did some reading, did some more praying, and on Tuesday morning, I went to the polls.
As I thought about all of the people who fought so many years ago for me, an African-American woman (a bit of a double whammy curse in this day and age, if you will) to be able to vote, I knew that I couldn't stay home. Fearless women (and men) went through countless trials and fought countless battles in order for me to exercise the rights of a normal citizen. I didn't want to take that for granted.
When I looked at the Democratic and Republican candidates that were in the race for our presidency, I didn't have much hope about the future of our nation. I was left with a sense of sadness and fear. And I know I wrote about that fear a couple weeks ago and how it is crippling the church, but can I just be honest with you? On Wednesday, I woke up saddened. As an African-American and a woman, I am sad. I succumbed to the fear, too.
But here's the thing. I am not afraid of where our country is headed. I'm not afraid of policies and political strife. I'm afraid of the disunity I see. I'm afraid of the hatred in people's hearts. I'm afraid of the church's seemingly unwavering hope in a politician to somehow "save our country" and "fix things."
The Bible says in Psalm 20:7, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Can I just get an amen right there?
I get the fear. I truly do. Because I am afraid. I am afraid of my own unwillingness to listen and learn. My bullheaded stubbornness to only see my perspective. That's pretty scary. It's easy for me to get wrapped up in my world and my ways. But there is another way.
I'm convinced now, even more than ever, that change starts from the ground up, not the opposite. I have been a myriad of emotions through the last two days. Sad, shocked, dismayed. But my favorite emotion that has coursed through my veins: encouraged.
I've been encouraged in knowing that God has a plan for me in this very moment, today, to make a difference for Him. I've been encouraged in knowing that God is so completely unshaken by the events of our nation and that He's already in the future, fighting for His people. I've been encouraged knowing that there is still work to be done and that He's anointed His church to do it. There is no plan B. The Gospel must shine in the darkest corners, because it is the only hope for our cities, states, and our nation. And it starts with you and me, examining our hearts, doing more listening than talking, and praying our knees off.
**Beth Moore wrote an amazing article a couple weeks ago that is oh so eloquent, encouraging, and convicting.
**And this video from CNN brought a lump to my throat and so beautifully articulated my heart.